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In the series of short essays the author overviews works of anthropologists, archeologists, cultural sociologists, historians and gastronomists who argue that the cooking played a significant role in human evolution and history, and sometimes even whole Empires “were built not by the sword but by the spoon”. The ancient and modern cuisines bear a deep imprint of the civilizations they appeared and were developing in. One can get a real insight on the cultures, often long gone, by trying recipes created then and there. This maxim did not cease to be true nowadays. Contemporary cultures as well could be judged by their cuisines. Verdict issued by this criteria, when applied to the American diet, may appear shocking. The American culture is the childish, young adolescent one. As a special treat an essay about the everyday life in the Soviet Union, People Waiting in Line, is included.

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